Summary: Do you ever wonder where God is during the most confusing times of your life? I think I know the answer. I think I know one of most important steps you can take during these confusing times.
God With Us: Embracing Jesus During Confusing Times
New Year’s can be a time of great confusion (what should I do this year?).
In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion.
Never put to confusion? What is that about?
It is a promise from God, but it doesn’t seem realistic, does it?
See if you feel the confusion in these verses.
18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"--which means, "God with us." 24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
Circumstances have a way of making us feel that God isn’t with us.
For Joseph, his wife was found to be with child before consummation. Usually one year of engagement before the marriage ceremony. Engagement was more binding than it is today; Joseph needed a divorce to end the engagement.
Mosaic Law provided that unfaithful woman could be stoned though this was not common in NT times, so Joseph contemplated a quiet divorce.
Joseph’s parents may have chosen Mary. I wonder what they thought at this point. Very confusing situation.
Joseph did what the angel commanded (took her home) though the child was not his. He and Mary prepared for the child. Was no physical union until after Jesus was born (again a common practice of that day).
The little child that Joseph embraced during this time of confusion was not his child, but he embraced him nonetheless.
Circumstances have a way of making us feel that God isn’t with us. During these times, we have a choice to make: either we embrace Jesus or we don’t. There is no middle ground.
Just as Joseph embraced Christ, so must you and I.
Through Jesus, God is with us in the midst of confusing circumstances.
God spoke to Joseph through an angel. Can you imagine how much more confused Joseph would have been had God not spoken to him?
Imagine going through this coming year without God speaking to you or leading you. What would that be like?
John 1 (Word: the Logos). Think about the use of logos in today’s society to distinguish companies one from the other. Jesus was God’s logo or image for us to know who He (God) is.
God speaks; Are you listening for God’s voice?
What if Joseph refused to listen to the angel?
Do we ever refuse to listen to God when He speaks to us?
*You embrace Jesus in the confusing times by listening for His voice.
My sheep hear my voice and they know me
Jacob: grandson of Abraham, second born in family, promised a blessing from God, took matters into his own hands (stole the blessing), ran from home.
Perhaps one of the darkest hours
Jacob: “The Lord was in this place and I knew it not.” The house of God. Ever wonder where God lives?
For Jacob God lived in his toughest moment
Greatest example of “God with us” I can think of
Back to our original story
Perhaps God spoke to Joseph because He didn’t want to leave Joseph out. Joseph could have easily walked away from Mary and missed out on being part of Jesus’ life. He might have missed out entirely on the Messiah.
When God spoke to Joseph, God spoke away the fear.
During confusing times, there is always seems to be some fear.
Fear of missing God’s will.
Fear of finding God’s will.
Fear of the unknown.
God speaks away the fear; Are you receiving God’s promise?
God hath not given us a spirit of fear.
God is not the author of confusion.